Consociationalism Reply

At some point, the US will likely have to convert to a consociational system in order to avoid complete fragmentation. In fact, I suspect the ruling class will eventually come to see such a system as a possible alternative to the dissolution of the mother country of the empire. Consociationalism has managed to keep the peace in Lebanon which experienced a religious civil war in the 1970s and 1980s with dozens of factions. In the US, political ideologies, political interest groups, and general subcultures of whatever kind assume the same role as ethno-cultural tribes and religions in premodern societies or nations with a less advanced form of capitalism. It would be possible to fit about 50 Lebanons into the USA, which is numerically appropriate for obvious reasons. This isn’t even a left/right issue. The different factions of the left and different factions of anarchism/libertarianism hate each other as much as the left and right hate each other.

Consociationalism (/kənˌsʃiˈʃənəlɪzəm/ kən-SOH-shee-AY-shən-əl-iz-əm) is a form of power sharing in a democracy. Political scientists define a consociational state as one which has major internal divisions along ethnic, religious, or linguistic lines, with none of the divisions large enough to form a majority group, but which remains stable due to consultation among the elites of these groups. Consociational states are often contrasted with states with majoritarian electoral systems.

The goals of consociationalism are governmental stability, the survival of the power-sharing arrangements, the survival of democracy, and the avoidance of violence. When consociationalism is organised along religious confessional lines, as in Lebanon, it is known as confessionalism.

Consociationalism is sometimes seen as analogous to corporatism. Some scholars consider consociationalism a form of corporatism. Others claim that economic corporatism was designed to regulate class conflict, while consociationalism developed on the basis of reconciling societal fragmentation along ethnic and religious lines.

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